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Prince Kael has just lost his father to an assassin, and he’s
the next target. A murderer is on the loose, the kingdom is
in disarray, and Kael is determined to make the person
responsible for killing his father pay. But falling for the
beautiful Cara, panther-shifter and main suspect in his
father’s murder, wasn’t part of the plan. He’s not at all sure
she did it, and he finds himself going against everything
he’s ever known just to claim her.
The ceremonial Hunt is approaching, and mates must be
chosen to run together. The hatred between the tiger and
panther species is all they know. If Kael and Cara follow
their hearts, it could mean treason and death.
I love to read paranormal
romance. When I was told about
this book by a relatively new author, I was skeptical
I should not have been. I literally judge the book by its cove
and not the
synopsis. But five pages in and I was hooked,
I simply could not put the book
down. It is a well written and
new twist on paranormal that was very
This book is the
first in the series. This story is about a young
panther shifter and the Prince
of Sajra. Only there is one
problem, the Prince s a tiger. And tigers do not
panthers. And just Cara’s luck she is mistaken for the
killed Prince Kael’s father. He is so clouded
by the hatred for Panthers that
he does not believe her and
has her arrested for the crime. But as time passes
to see that, all he has been told his whole life may not be
you find out who the real assassin is man you
will be socked I thought it was one
person but when that
person tells Cara who really did she is at a loss as what
do. Now with the price life on the line how will she warn
him before it is
Now before I ruin
this for you I will leave off here. I hope you
enjoy this book as much as
I did. If you do like this book,
please consider leaving a review. The Authors
it when you do; they value your opinions too.
Cara looked at the man sitting
hunched behind the table and hesitated. Even in his human form, she could see
the lynx within him. Gray and white whiskers hung long from the sides of his
compressed mouth, twisting into two braided spindles. His large, pointed ears
twitched at the tips in annoyance.
“What could you possibly have to
trade?” His voice was low and scratchy.
She clutched the sage-green and gold
silk in her hands. All she had to offer was a headscarf, and with it, the last
remaining essence of her mother. The lynx was one of the last people in all of
Sajra she wanted to give up her mother’s scarf to, but she didn’t have a
choice. He was the only vendor in the marketplace who traded with panthers, and
she had two other mouths to feed at home. She needed the meat.
“Well?” he pressed.
Cara brought the shimmering material
to her nose and inhaled. Hilisha flowers and honey. The scent of her mother.
Before her face could appear in Cara’s thoughts and bring the familiar
heartache with it, she thrust the scarf at him.
“It is made with gold thread. The
beads are real crystal, too,” she muttered. “It was my mother’s Hunt
headdress…a gift from my father the night of their bonding.”
The man snatched it from her grasp
and examined the fabric between his curved fingers. He murmured to himself, the
corner of his lips curling in a satisfied smirk.
For the first time since Cara had
arrived in his tent, the tension in her muscles eased. Since food was hard to
come by these days, the forest almost picked clean of any prey by hunting
groups, meat was precious and rare. Especially for her kind. If she got some
bison meat, or even a small buck for the scarf, she could make it last a month.
“The scarf is made very well,” the
old lynx began. His mouth split into a full grin. “However, I’m afraid I can
only give you this for it.” He reached under the table and pulled out a small
mound wrapped in brown paper and string. It was slightly bigger than Cara’s
Cara picked it up and peeked through
the opened corner. Her heart dropped. “Rabbit.”
“No one will want to buy anything
that has been owned by a panther,” the lynx explained with a shrug of his
hunched shoulders. “I will be lucky if I can sell this at all.”
Cara’s hands shook as her anger
built. A small piece of lean meat for her mother’s handmade scarf? It was
completely unfair—crooked, even. “That is real gold thread! It is worth much
more than a slab of rabbit and you know it!”
He tilted his chin and waved to shoo
her out. “That is all I can offer you. Take it or leave with the worthless
cloth. I don’t care either way.”
A growl rumbled in her throat, and
her nails sharpened into claws. He was just like everyone else who lived at the
head of Sajra’s river—an ignorant, heartless brute that judged her kind based
solely on rumors and lies.
As much as she wanted to throw the
packaged rabbit in his face, she couldn’t. Meat was meat, as lean and puny as
it was. Her family still needed to eat.
Cara took a deep breath to settle her
fury and the tingling power of the change. She pulled the rabbit closer to her
chest and nodded. “Deal,” she said, her throat tight.
“Good.” The lynx sneered. “Now, get
out of my tent before someone sees you and I lose business.”
She whirled and pushed through the
tent’s opening. “Dirty rat,” she spat over her shoulder loud enough for him to
Out of the protection and the
darkness of the vendor’s tent, Cara pulled the hood of her cloak up to mask her
face. Her gaze swept over the marketplace. The whistling of pipes and the roll
of drums sent an energetic pulse through the cluttered circular space. At the
far side, a group of musicians played their instruments with mischievous grins
as they watched girls dressed in long, swaying dresses dance to the music they
Crouching low, Cara slipped into the
shadow of two merchant tents, her steps silenced by the roar of excited voices.
People in both human and animal form passed by in front of her like a river
current, telling jokes, drinking, and bartering their goods away. Tents and
tables surrounded a tall stone statue of Sajra, their mother and the creator of
their kind. Beside the flowing train of her robes, a sculpted lion and tiger
rested. Sajra’s hands lay upon the animals’ heads. Colorful fabrics and
glittering treasures decorated the place at her naked feet.
Cara’s eyes rested on Sajra’s marble
face. Her hollowed-out stare traveled the length of the city’s winding river.
She couldn’t help but feel a great sadness when she looked upon the statue. Surely
Sajra hadn’t planned for one of her children to be treated with such hatred and
cruelty. She was supposed to love them all the same. Or at least, Cara liked to
think that way.
Her grandmother, Ryna, spoke often
of a time of peace between the species, a golden era where love was plentiful
and hierarchy did not exist. The tale always started with the same phrase: “It
was long ago when the lions ruled.” The lions had been so wise and kind to all
of Sajra that the people titled them the Nobles. Cara, though, knew nothing
about nobility or the lion shifters. They had died out almost half a century
The tigers’ reign was all Cara
knew—their push into royalty and their blind eye to the ones below them. The
rei and regis’s selfish ways were the reason Cara and her sister had been
orphaned so young.
Cara swallowed down her anger and
sorrow, but it stayed in a thick knot in the center of her chest. She would
never forget the look in their cold, golden eyes as she begged for the medicine
to save her parents, and their response was to have their guards pluck her from
the throne room. The gaurds carried her out kicking and clawing. “Panther
filth,” they had called her. “Thief!” The tigers cared nothing for her dying
mother and father, for Cara, or any of their kind.
Cheers and applause erupted from the
center of the marketplace, jerking her from the memory. In front of the
monument of Sajra, a wooden dais sat draped in billowing burgundy curtains. A
crowd had gathered at its base.
Curious, Cara stepped out of the shadow
and stood on her toes for a better look.
Rei Salus was the first to appear
above the group. Two tall leopard guards took his side. Even in his old age,
his cheekbones were high and sharp. His nose was long, and curved down over his
gray-tinted mustache and invisible top lip. Thinning black hair was the only
unruly thing about the man. It stuck up in all directions like high river
grass. Despite the late spring’s heat, the rei wore red and gold robes that
hung in thick folds across his spare body. If she moved closer, she knew she
would see that his hands were spotless and that every fingernail gleamed. She
scoffed. This man had never worked a day in his life.
“People of our beloved city of
Sajra!” Rei Salus held up his hands to settle the noise. The crowd quieted.
“Centuries ago, Sajra, our mother, was murdered by Maurus, the gray wolf
spirit. Through her death, we were granted life. Her great love for us allowed
her spirit to multiply into the many powerful species that make up our city
today. We celebrate this union, and our history, annually with the Hunt.”
There was a burst of excited cries.
Cara rolled her eyes. Like the rei
knew anything about love.
“By the end of the week, mates will
be chosen to run in the ceremonial race. These couples will be blessed by Sajra
with happiness, fertility, and eternal love.”
A young man, one Cara had never seen
before, stepped onto the dais. He matched the guards in height but doubled
their size in bulk. He wore a tunic of brown leather that was cut off at his
shoulders and ended at his hips. His trousers matched the tan color of his skin
and were tucked into his high boots. Thick, rippling muscle sculpted his
exposed arms, and a belt wrapped around his lean middle. A tense hand rested on
a sheathed dagger that hung from it.
When his broad shoulders turned, and
he faced the audience below, Cara’s breath caught. He was beyond handsome.
Sweeping dark hair framed his face. It curled around his ears and at the start
of his strong jaw.
But the more Cara searched his features,
the more similarities she found between this tense stranger and the rei
standing beside him—the two brooding amber eyes under black brows, the narrow
nose, the distinct curve of the cheeks. Her heart dropped.
“This year, my son, Kael, will be
participating in the Hunt and will choose his regis,” Rei Salus continued,
gesturing to the powerful young man.
Cara’s stomach twisted. Had she
really been ogling the tiger prince?
Kael’s stern expression still didn’t
waver as the attention shifted to him. As the rei continued to speak about the
upcoming Hunt, Cara stepped closer to the tent, covered again by shadow. She
should get back to the village, to Ryna and Alina, but something inside her
wanted to stay. With her gaze locked on the stage, she forced her feet to take
a step back. Then another.
Up and down her back, her skin
prickled. Her muscles tensed. Someone was behind her, and not too far away. The
rising volume of voices from the crowd made it difficult for Cara to listen for
any hints of who it may be. Friend or foe? She lifted her nose and sniffed.
Hidden underneath the distinct, heavy smells of the marketplace—burning
incense, sweat, and smoky fires—was the faint, crisp scent of mint leaves.
Then, she heard several light
cracking sounds, like twigs breaking underfoot. Before she could turn her head,
something too small to see in its speed blew past her face, whistling through
the air. She tried yelling a warning to the dais, but the words weren’t even on
her tongue before Rei Salus was gripping his chest. His face twisted in terror,
and his knees collapsed under him. The leopard guards reached out, grasping his
arms as he fell to the floor.
Many people in the crowd dropped to
the ground, covering their heads. Others screamed and ran into the safety of
the canvas tents. With the space cleared, Cara could see more of the stage. The
rei’s body twitched and jumped like a fish taken from water. White, foamy
bubbles leaked from his nostrils and the corners of his mouth. Kael, the tiger
prince, fell to his father’s side and ripped something out of his chest. As he
held it up to examine it, Cara saw a slender wooden tube with a needle-like
nose. It was a dart of some kind.
“He’s been poisoned!” Kael shouted
to the guards. His voice was as menacing and powerful as his appearance. Rei
Salus’s thrashing continued. Every second seemed to drag on as the crowd
watched in silent horror. Cara couldn’t look away, either.
Then, a terrible gurgling sound
spewed from his mouth, and he stilled, lying like a puddle on the dais. One of
the leopards reached down and pressed his fingers against his neck.
“The rei…He is dead,” he said.
The prince looked at the dart again,
his rage making his eyes glow. Then, his focus moved to something else,
something beyond the weapon. A fierce growl tore from his throat as his and
Cara’s eyes locked.
Her gut lurched as realization hit
“You!” he roared, throwing the dart
down and pulling the dagger from his belt. “Panther!”
Cara was running before the word
left his mouth.
THE HUNT BOOK TRAILER
·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠· HARPER A. BROOKS ·٠•● Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ●•٠·
Harper A. Brooks lives in a small town on the New Jersey
shore. Even though classic authors have always filled her
bookshelves, she finds her writing muse drawn to the dark,
magical, and romantic. But when she isn’t creating entire
worlds with sexy shifters or legendary love stories, you can
find her either with a good cup of coffee in hand or at home